Sunday, October 25, 2009

Boden's Mate


For a relatively novice player like me, the following chess moves looked really wonderful. Look at the board setting above.

1.....d5
The above moves by black piece was done so that black bishop in f8 has clear access to a3 in later move that shows an example of thinking a few moves ahead.




The above seemingly careless move by black entices white to take the un-protected pawn in d5 by its bishop in c4.

2. Bc4xd5



Now look at the next move by black.
2......Qf6xc3


3. bxc3




3.  ......Ba3 and check mate!


In the above, white King does not have any move because it cannot move in c2, b1 or b2 as these were all covered by black bishops, and nor there any other white pieces that can protect the king. I find these few steps shows an excellent example of planning a few move ahead in chess.

The above technique was first applied by Samuel Standidge Boden in 1853 in a game against Schulder, though there was a variation of it played in Horwitzh-Popert game in 1844. Wiki has nice examples of variations in Boden's mate. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boden%27s_Mate

More Reference: Build Up Your Chess, The Fundamentals by Artur Yusupov (2007), Page 12.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The sunflower boy's smile

This a heart breaking story of a boy who believed that he could do anything.

Link: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/10/04/greene.wyatt.sunflower/index.html

You and Your Friend’s Friend’s Friends

"...we are part of a superorganism, a hivelike network that shapes our decisions. “A smoker may have as much control over quitting as a bird has to stop a flock from flying in a particular direction...."

Here is one more excerpt:
"How does network contagion work?.....Partly, it’s a kind of peer pressure, or norming, effect, in which certain behaviors, or the social acceptance of certain behaviors, get transmitted across a network of acquaintances."

 And there is explanation using evolution, "During the early stages of human evolution, selective advantage was probably conferred on those individuals who lived in social networks and could share information about food or predators. The primatologist Robin Dunbar has argued that the human brain evolved to its present size to keep track of a network of 150 people..........As among primates, those humans who are best able to manipulate social networks to their advantage thrive, and that ability may be genetically encoded........."

Though it has plenty of assumptions, this is an article to read.

Link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/books/review/Stossel-t.html